Monday, October 02, 2006

Instahoglets 2nd Oct. 06

Its all about values.

  • "Dear Security Moms". Shake's Sis cuts to the quick as she sets forth a set of values that every Mom can approve of:
    It’s the kind of security that comes from knowing your job is safe, you’ve got good health insurance, your kids are getting the kind of education that will make them competitive and open doors of opportunity in their future, the air you breathe and water you drink isn’t poisoning you, you’ve got enough well-equipped cops and firemen to protect you, and your elected representatives take things like the sexual exploitation of children seriously.

    How’s all that working out for you under the GOP leadership?
    Not to well, comes the answer, because the GOP are too busy making sure you are afraid of every shadow.

  • Pagans are suing the Department of Veteran Affairs because they still haven't decided whether fallen heroes who happened to be pagans should be commemorated with the same respect for their religion as Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jews, Hindus, Zoroastrans and even Atheists already receive - after nine years! Don't you think that everyone willing to fight and die for their nation should be afforded the same honors in death?

  • Is it a bad thing if security services are pushed into acting hastily while conducting crucial investigations that would ensure cast-iron criminal cases against bad guys? Maybe. Is it bad if it is done purely for political purposes? Definitely.
    The US warned Britain that it was prepared to seize the key suspect in the UK's biggest ever anti-terrorism operation and fly him to a secret detention centre for interrogation by American agents, even if this meant riding roughshod over its closest ally, The Observer can reveal.

    American intelligence agents told their British counterparts they were ready to 'render' Rashid Rauf, a British citizen allegedly linked to al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and who was under surveillance in Pakistan, unless he was picked up immediately. Rauf is the key suspect in the alleged plot to detonate explosives on up to 10 transatlantic planes that was exposed in August and, according to the police, would have brought 'mass murder on an unimaginable scale'.
    Remember that this happened just as Bush was picking up serious flack over his support for Israeli bombings of civilians in Lebanon, and totally knowcked that story off the front pages.

  • It is, of course, wrong to freeload of the hard work of others. It is a good thing to be "penny wise" and make sure that you live within your budget and never borrow more than you repay. We all agree that makes sense - except, it seems, Wall Street and the Bush administration, who say it is just fine for America to be living beyond its means. They yell "Look at all the nice stuff we got" but they haven't paid the bills yet. They may think its just fine, but the rest of us know what happens when the household bills fall due, the bank account is empty and the credit cards are already maxed-out, don't we?

  • If a powerful man abuses his position of power and trust to send pornographic emails to a minor which tried to groom that minor for an in-person liason...and then his powerful friends cover up that abuse...and then other powerful friends try to pass of the abuse as "simply naughty", shouldn't we feel outrage? Aren't we justified in saying we would never trust that man, or anyone - regardless of political allegiance - who suspected his abuses and did nothing for too long, ever again? Isn't it right and good and just to want them all to answer for their abuses of power in such a case? I think it is, and I'm pretty sure you do too.

  • I teach my kids that admitting their mistakes out loud and saying "sorry" is an important part of being able to learn from those mistakes - it helps make sure you don't just make it easy on yourself by sidestepping your fault and gives a sense of "closure" that means you can go on from there the right way.

    So what are we to make of someone who doesn't ever admit errors and believes that is a value he should have. Do you think he might become more unpopular over time as his unwillingness to admit or learn from mistakes became known? Being conservative didn’t used to mean never saying sorry for mistakes, but it is a Bush administration value and a neocon one. It isn’t “strong”, it stems from an elitist sense of entitlement - that they alone have been annointed as the ones who know best for the American people and the world. Once that became obvious many conservatives, and many Americans, decided it wasn’t a value they shared.

  • Or how about those who have managed to make a positive value out of ignorance? That pretty much covers the extreme religious Right who attack the teaching of evolutionary theory in schools.

    Since they worked so hard to demonize educated folks and intellectuals as “liberal” elitists from ivory towers, they have of necessity made a virtue of the opposite of intellectual. They have created, by evolution rather than intelligent design, a veritable cult of ignorance where NOT being educated is a good thing. Homer and Bart become role models rather than anti-heros to be pitied.

    It doesn’t happen to be a value I agree with but in debating it the facts bounce off the value exactly like a head off a brick wall.

    When you make a value out of “my values right or wrong” then there are no facts and no mistakes that need to be debated. It’s the main theme of those who have hijacked the conservative movement in the U.S.
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